Sunday, September 25, 2011

Fucking Pirates! Arrhh!

Harumph.


The e-book version of Dead Light District is available for sale on Amazon and Smashwords. You can buy your very own copy for $2.99.

Or, you can download a pirated electronic version for free!

Argh.

I found out about the pirated version a couple of weeks ago. As it happened, it was the same day I was meeting up with Paul Alves, mastermind behind the books books books website http://www.paulthebookguy.com/.

When I told Paul that I was a bit fahrklempt about my book being pirated, his reaction surprised the hell out of me. He said it was a good thing, a mark of success in a way.

As Paul put it, people aren’t pirating “Coping with Liver Spots” by Edna Schwartz or “Adventures in the Frozen Food Aisle” by Egbert Knobsplot.

Paul has a point.

However, as I’ve looked further into the pirate thing, I've gotten angrier.

Given the very nature of piracy, it’s hard to get accurate figures, but it appears that “Dead Light District” has been pirated about 40x more than it’s been purchased. That hurts. Forty times more!

It’s frustrating for me to look at the stats (pageviews, sample chapters, blogposts, etc.) and see how much activity there is around Dead Light District, and then to reconcile that with low sales. For example, on one site (and obviously I won’t say which one) there were just under 100 views in one day of the sample chapters of Dead Light District.

But there was not one single sale.

(I should mention that there have been several good reviews of the book.)

Granted, some people may have read the sample chapter and decided they were not interested in the book. That’s fine – we all have different tastes in reading. But you’d think that out of 100 there would be a small percentage, maybe 1% to 5% who wanted to keep reading and would buy the book. That’s all; just a handful of people might purchase a legal copy. If that were the case, I’d be delighted.

What seems to be happening instead though, is after reading the preview, people are downloading the whole book for free from a pirate website.  Fuck fuck fuck!

It appears that the pirated version was available within about two months of the authorized versions being available.

I have no way of knowing who made the book available to the pirate sites (and it seems that there is more than one site where the book can be downloaded for free).

I can’t do a damn thing about it. Digging through the “about us” and “contact us” sections of pirate sites eventually leads you to a post office box in Idaho. Besides, the sites are full of all sorts of disclaimers, “we are not responsible for content...”

I suppose, if I really put time and effort into it, I could maybe get XYZ pirate site to remove my book, but it would just turn up a day later somewhere else.

I recognize that piracy is inevitable, and I guess in a weird way it is a mark of success. I know I just have to suck it up. However, I wish the piracy downloads were on par with, or lower than the number of paid for downloads... not 40x more pirates!  (Keep in mind, this is the approximate number for only one pirate site - gawd knows how many times its been downloaded from other pirate sites...)

Since I apparently have to live with piracy, I wish the playing field were a little more even. Ideally, the pirates could give the creators a head start, say six months, before making pirated versions available. At least then the artist has a fair shot. I’m just saying...

10 comments:

  1. Jill - I am so sorry that people have been pirating your book. That is definitely a blow. I'm not techno-savvy enough to know how to prevent that kind of piracy, but it certainly does take away from sales. It's one reason I'm wary of my work coming out as ebooks...

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  2. Sadly the digital age has damaged book sales also. At first it was just music, then movies and now books....
    I do believe the Sasha Jackson series will prevail in the long run. When the TV series hits, people will hopefully rush out to get a physical and legal copy to keep. Some people try out downloading a few songs off an artist but if they like it enough, they will purchase a copy eventually.
    I have high hopes that this will be the case in the long run.

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  3. I agree with your friend that it is a compliment to your work, but that's absolutely no consolation I know. Be assured that there are still people like me, who really want to read your work but aren't in a position to buy it at the moment, who WILL NOT pirate it, however much we want to read it. I hope the sales catch up with the thefts soon.

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  4. Jill: I wonder if any "best seller" authors and publishers are pursuing literary pirates in the courts of the world?

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  5. Bill: I don't know - but it seems doubtful...

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  6. I follow the "real" Sasha Jackson who is an amazing actress (blonde and a Leo too) and I have seen that all over the web are free downloads and pirated versions of her latest film Blue Crush 2 are so readily available so I can sure feel your pain too Ms Edmondson but you must keep the atitude that it is flattery just tough when its your revenues that fall because of these horrible people just as it is for the real Sasha Jackson's sales of her film (alth it's prob the film companys that get all that money!!)

    I wish you lots of luck with your books and would be so incredible (and a great story) if you used the real Sasha Jackson for YOUR Sasha Jackson as they are so similar...

    http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2358356/

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  7. soz...

    [url] http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2358356 [/url]

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  8. Yeah - it would be cool if the real Sasha Jackson played the PI Sasha in the TV version!!!

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  9. It sucks and it is frustrating as an author I'm sure, but it is a good thing too. Your name, your series is getting out there, getting more well known. Think of it as a modern library. For it to be pirated and out there, somebody has to have bought it. And the more people that read your work, the more that will get hooked and want the next Sasha Jackson mystery before the pirates get their hooks into it.

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